The UK lender says it recommends Jes Staley for re-election and said he had been sufficiently open about his relationship with the deceased financier.
The bank added that it continues to cooperate with a regulatory investigation.
The Epstein saga has rocked the business, political and entertainment world in recent years. As reported here last year, banks and financial firms cut ties with the UK's Prince Andrew after he gave an interview about his relationship with Epstein. The interview was described at the time as a "car crash". The way that various firms have severed ties with Prince Andrew is an example of how organisations’ reputational management has to move rapidly.
Barclays' Staley worked at JP Morgan for more than 30 years before becoming Barclays’s CEO in December 2015. The Wall Street Journal said he told journalists yesterday that his contact with Epstein went back to 2000, when he led JP Morgan’s private bank and the financier was a client. He said that his contact with Epstein began to “taper off” after he left JP Morgan in 2013 and the last time he had contact with him was in the “middle to fall” of 2015.
“I thought I knew him well and I didn’t,” Staley was quoted as saying. “For sure, with hindsight, with what we all know now, I deeply regret having had any relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.”
Epstein was found dead in August last year at a New York detention centre, where he was awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges, in what the New York medical examiner ruled as a suicide.